Wednesday, 30 December 2015

A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert

A Wilder Rose by Susan Wittig Albert
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Laura Ingalls Wilder, a name most of probably recognize, either becomes of her books, or the TV-series, or both. Ingalls Wilder is probably one of the most known children author thanks to her fictional retelling of her childhood. But, what not many people know is that without her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane is it a strong possibility that the never would have been any books.

Susan Wittig Albert has written a book about Rose Wilder Lane life and how it came to be that she ghostwrote the Laura Ingall Wilders books. Her mother wrote her memories and Rose Wilder Lane transformed the memories into the books we know today. It wasn't even supposed to be children's books, and absolutely not fiction. Laura Ingalls Wilder was adamant about that is should not be turned into fiction. But, the stubborn women caved in, in the end.

I had some problems getting into the story. I actually put it away and to read other books because I just couldn't seem to get into the story. It just didn't feel interesting enough. So it was with a bit of a heavy heart that I returned to read it. I've seen so many reviews from people that loved the book and I felt like I was the odd one out. And, it took some time for me to really get into the book. But, it grew on me. It's one of the books that kind of sneaks up on you and take you by surprise. I don't say it was an easy read. There are some parts that were better than others. For me has Rose Wilder Lane always just been the daughter of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but here she comes out of her mother's shadow. And, I think she deserves that. She deserves the credit for helping her mother write the books.

I just wish I could read Laura Ingalls Wilder's real biography. Not the fiction books that were written for children.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich

The Murder of Adam and Eve by William Dietrich
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don't know about you, but I've been seduced by a nice cover and a cool title a couple of times in my life. Alright, it happens quite often...

The Murder of Adam and Eve is a book that I should have thought twice about before I decided to download it from NetGalley. Mostly because I usually try to stay away from YA, especially if it is a love story. But then again the blurb on NetGalley don't give away that much of the story and I think that I was blinded by the interesting cover to really care that it's all about two teenagers that must save the earth.

Apparently an alien raise called Xu has decided that Nick Brynner and Eleanor Terrell is the ones that have to decide if the human race is worth saving, and they have to go back in time to Africa and save the original Adam and Eve. Not the Bible Adam and Eve, but out genetic forebears. So Nick and Ellie have to adjust to the prehistoric life and also decide if the human race is worth saving or if the planet is better off without the humans.

I won't lie, I had a damn hard time getting into the story, but I felt that the book was way too short for me to quit. There was just something about the storyline that just didn't work for me, two people had to go back to the past to decide if the humans were worth saving? The explanation to why the alien race just didn't didn't decide for us comes at the end of the book and sound quite reasonable in a way (they must have a logical reason for not doing everything by themselves you know), even though I found it a mostly ludicrous. I mean there was some test in the beginning of the book they had to go through before they got sent back in the past, why? Why just not sent them back? No, let's make them go through some teamwork exercises first.

Of course Nick falls in love with Ellie, it's a love story, no matter that the human race has to be saved, there is time for some romance on the savanna.

So why the two-star rating? I was quite sure it would not be as good to earn more than one star, but the ending was better than I expected, and also more surprising than I expected. I still find the idea of a chosen person or two saving the whole world by going back in time quite ludicrous. And, I'm amazed that they actually survived out there before they found "Adam and Eve".

But still I can see that it would appeal to younger people that likes reading about teenagers saving the world. Personally? I will think twice the next time I see a book with a nice looking cover!

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly

Of Irish Blood by Mary Pat Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It's 1903. Nora Kelly, twenty-four, is talented, outspoken, progressive, and climbing the ladder of opportunity, until she falls for an attractive but dangerous man who sends her running back to the Old World her family had fled. Nora takes on Paris, mixing with couturiers, artists, and "les femmes Americaines" of the Left Bank such as Gertrude Stein and Sylvia Beach. But when she stumbles into the centuries-old Collège des Irlandais, a good-looking scholar, an unconventional priest, and Ireland's revolutionary women challenge Nora to honor her Irish blood and join the struggle to free Ireland.

Author Mary Pat Kelly weaves historical characters such as Maud Gonne, William Butler Yeats, Countess Markievicz, Michael Collins, and Eamon de Valera, as well as Gabrielle Chanel, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, and Nora Barnicle, into Of Irish Blood, a vivid and compelling story inspired by the life of her great-aunt.


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This book could have gotten a higher rating from me if it hadn't been for all the name droppings and for the fact that it felt like it took forever for me to finish the book. Now, this is a book that's over 500 pages long so it's no wonder it took some time for me to finish it. But, still it just felt like the story could have been cut down 100-200 pages or so. But then Nora Kelly would have missed all those wonderful moments of meeting every single famous person that were alive during the beginning of the 1900-century, whether it be a painter, freedom fighter, politician, actress, designer, etc.

Sorry, I will stop with my nagging now. The book was not all bad, I quite liked Nora Kelly and her family. And, it was interesting to read about her life in Paris and everything she experiences, her meeting with Peter, the man she would come to love, and everything she went through during WW1 and after. I especially liked her involvement with the moment to free Ireland and how she would, in the end, travel to Ireland and Galway where her grandmother was born. It felt like a closing of a circle since the first book Galway Bay (That I haven't read) is about Honora Keeley, Nora's grandmother that she is named after and who left Ireland together with her husband Michael and used to tell little Nora stories about Ireland.

So yes, I enjoyed the book, but alas I also felt that the story dragged now and then and that sometimes it was just too many famous people in the story that Nora just had to meet. Still, the book was well-written and well researched and I wouldn't mind reading Galway Bay.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson

Swerve by Vicki Pettersson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It’s high summer in the Mojave Desert, and Kristine Rush and her fiancé, Daniel, are en route from Las Vegas to Lake Arrowhead, California, for the July Fourth holiday weekend. But when Daniel is abducted from a desolate rest stop, Kristine is forced to choose: return home unharmed, but never to see her fiancé again, or plunge forward into the searing desert to find him…where a killer lies in wait.

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I had before I read Swerve read a lot of positive reviews of the book, so after finishing quite a heavy book did I decide that I would go for Swerve since I felt I needed to read something intense and thrilling. I just hoped that the book wasn't overhyped.

I had some problems getting into the story, in the beginning. I just couldn't really connect to it, it didn't feel that special to be honest. I felt that I lacked a thrilling intro and I didn't even feel that this was something special when Daniel got kidnapped and she had to drive off to save his life. I wonder if I didn't already subconscious suspected the big twist that would come a bit later and that's what made me less than thrilled about the story. Yeah, the BIG twist. I saw that a mile away and I was a bit frustrated with how easy it was to figure it out and that the author had actually in the end gone for that.

Then the book turned around and become good (or at least, better) because now Kristine really got to show that the kidnapper had really started to mess with the wrong woman. Now, her past is revealed to the readers and she starts to really fight for what's precious to her. And, that's the best part of the book. I really came to like Kristine when she showed just how furiously she can be when pushed too far.

So was the book overhyped? A bit without a doubt. But still, the book turned out quite good, thanks to a superb heroine!

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Friday, 25 December 2015

Blood Sisters by Graham Masterton

Blood Sisters by Graham Masterton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Blood Sisters is book 5 in the Katie Maguire series. I haven't previous read any books in this series, but it was no problem getting into the story and I never felt confused with past events since everything was explained well during the book.

DS Katie Maguire must catch a killer that torture and kill nuns. The question is why are the nuns killed, is is because something in the past. Then a jawbone of a child is found in the garden of the convent. Could the finding have anything to do with the killing? 

The cover and the blurb made me interested in reading the book and I was pleased when I was approved to read this book on NetGalley.

The book started off good in a bad way with the finding of several dead horses that had been forced over a cliff, but I must admit as the story progressed my interest in the story waned. I just couldn't find myself interested in what was going on. Sometimes it felt that there was just too many sidetracks in this story that the main story lost a bit focus. Some sidetrack had a connection, but some of them had a connection to past events. And, I felt that all too often what was happening in the book just didn't interest me and I think partly that was because I never connected with the characters in this the book. Katie Maguire is pregnant with another man's child and she struggles through the book to be able to tell her boyfriend that left her before she got pregnant that she is expecting a child that's not his. She also has a problem with a female college that's in love with her and is thinking of leaving the force because of that. But I just neve really cared about it all. The characters never came alive for me.

The book was not all that bad, it was sometimes very tragic, although some very descriptive scenes involving torture could I have lived without and I felt really sorry for the horses. And, I could actually imagine myself reading another book in this series, just to see if it was just this book that didn't work for me. Also, because the book ended with a cliffhanger and I want to know what happens next...

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

The Shiro Project by David S. Khara

The Shiro Project by David S. Khara
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Can a lone man stop mass destruction looming from the past?

Reporter Branislav Poborsky is running away from a bad marriage, when he witnesses the Czech army covering up the extermination of an entire village. Saved in extremis by the gentle-giant Mossad agent Eytan Morgenstern, he is thrown into a troubling race to defuse a larger-than-life conspiracy. After Eytan’s mentor is kidnapped, he must join forces with his arch-rival to put an end to a mysterious group that has weapons of mass destruction. 

Once again, the atrocities of World War II come back to haunt the modern world. What links exist between Japanese camps in China in the 1940s, a US Army research center in the 1950s, and the deadly threat Eytan faces today? From Prague to Tokyo, with stops in Ireland, yesterday’s enemies become today’s best allies and mankind seems on the verge of repeating the errors of the past. What can a lone man do against the madness that is bound to follow?

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I manage to miss this book and go straight to book 3; The Morgenstern Project in the Consortium series. But I have now corrected that. And, while the book was, for the most part, OK did I miss Jeremy Corbin and Jacqueline Walls from book 1 and 3. I just love the banter between Jeremy and Eyton.

Although I did enjoy reading about Eytan Morgenstern and Elena working together, despite their previous bad history. And, it was nice to learn how Eli and Eyton first met (a very sweet flashback) and how Elena came to be the person she is today.

I think reading the books in chronological order is probably best, there are past events that makes much more sense if you have read the previous books. I just wish I had read this book before The Morgenstern Project because for instance the ending really makes sense of the beginning of The Morgenstern Project.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd

A Bitter Truth by Charles Todd
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Bess Crawford is on leave from the front when she stumbles over a woman outside her house. She takes pity on her and learns that the women has been struck by her husband and has fled to London. She slowly gains the woman's trust and learns that her name is Lydia and that her husband's name is Roger. Bess agrees to travel with her home to her house in the country. But this act of kindness will result in quite a lot of trouble as everyone in the household inclusive Bess will be suspected in a murder case. 

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Once again has Charles Todd written an engrossing historical novel with where Bess en up having to find out the truth. She must try to figure out why anyone would kill a houseguest, but this time, even she is a suspect. Prior to the man's death has he asked Roger at dinner about a child that looked like Julianna, Rogers little sister that died when she was just 6 years old. But who is the child in question and could that simple question really be the reason for his death?

As much as I enjoyed the book and the mystery was I also a bit puzzled why it all had to be such a hush-hush thing. When the truth finally was revealed about the child was not that overly surprised, I would have liked a more interesting and perhaps surprising mystery than that. I felt that the family mourning of Julianna was frankly a bit over-the-top sometimes that it could affect the present time that much. Yeah, it was tragical, and yeah she was a beautiful child. But sometimes the truth could perhaps save some heartache and time. Still I enjoyed finding out the truth even though it was a little let down that it wasn't that complex.

But the murders is all whole other story, I failed to realize who the murder was. It wasn't until Bess and Simon Brandon realized who it was and then everything made sense.

One thing that really pleased me (and confused me) was that Sergeant Lassiter Larimore has finally made his first entrance in this book series. I am a bit confused about the name of him since I read about him A Pattern of Lies where he was Sergeant Lassiter, but here is he called Sergeant Larimore. Could there really be two different Aussie Sergeants with the same trademark Kookaburra laughter?

I just have to read on to figure it out...

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham

Phantom Evil by Heather Graham
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

A secret government unit, a group of renegade paranormal investigators... and a murder no one else can crack.

Though haunted by the recent deaths of two teammates, Jackson Crow knows that the living commit the most heinous crimes.

A police officer utilizing her paranormal intuition, Angela Hawkins already has her hands full of mystery and bloodshed.

But one assignment calls to them too strongly to resist. In a historic mansion in New Orleans's French Quarter, a senator's wife falls to her death. Most think she jumped; some say she was pushed. And yet others believe she was beckoned by the ghostly spirits inhabiting the house — once the site of a serial killer's grisly work.

In this seemingly unsolvable case, only one thing is certain: whether supernatural or all too human, crimes of passion will cast Jackson and Angela into danger of losing their lives... and their immortal souls.


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What I was after was a lighthearted fun paranormal book, an easy book to read when you are in need of something frivolous after some heavy dark books. What I got was a book that lacked any depth whatsoever. Characters that are not memorable, two main characters that at first doesn't seem to really go along, but end up in bed after a day or two. And, then they have some more sex during the book just because why the hell not. I mean they are working, trying to figure out if a woman was murdered or not, but nevermind that.

I'm so completely sick and tired of books that make the main characters sleep with each other almost right after they meet. Of course, they must have a pretend we are a couple moment before that's not so pretending.

In short, this is a stupid book. It lacks charm and it lacks an interesting story. It's also painfully slow to get through, and I read it is Swedish and I was skimming a hell of a lot of it and still I suffered.

I have read a book in this series before and that one was better than this one and since then have I been curious about reading more. Now I don't have to be curious anymore. I'm also pleased that the book didn't cost me a dime.

Will I read more? I do own an eBook in this series, but I will not read it anytime soon!

Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner

Harley Quinn, Vol. 3: Kiss Kiss Bang Stab by Amanda Conner
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Harley was certain she could have it all: She could be the world's best landlord, protect Coney Island from the scum of the Earth, woo Mason Macabre, work her day job as a psychiatrist, volunteer at the puppy shelter...but that's a whole lot of spinning plates, and eventually they're bound to start breaking! What happens when a psychopath cracks up? Is it possible for Harley to go even more insane?!

Collects HARLEY QUINN #14-15, HARLEY QUINN ANNUAL #1, HARLEY QUINN VALENTINE'S DAY SPECIAL #1, and HARLEY QUINN HOLIDAY SPECIAL #1.

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This is the best Harley Quinn volume I read so far! Unfortunately, for some reason did I wait 3 months to write this review, but thanks to screen shots can I retell some of the best parts of this volume where Harley has to save Ivy, puppies, and Bruce Wayne? Yes, Bruce is being auctioned off and Harley of course just have to buy him, especially since the money will go to helping animals...

But first, let's start off with Poison Ivy losing her memory and Harley is trying, in her own way, to help get Ivy's memory back. Since Ivy isn't really Sleeping Beauty doesn't this really work as planned.


Oh, and here is the big bad...head that is behind Ivy's memory loss. He is actually just a misunderstood...head.


But the best part is at the Charity gala where Bruce Wayne is auctioned off. Of course, the gala is crashed by two bad men trying to rob it. But luckily for Bruce is Harley there to save him.


And, of course, she just has to end the night with a kiss...


or two...


All and all a truly wonderful volume loved it very much and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. I just hope that Harley's puddin' is in it! ;)

Some bonus screenshots:



I want to thank the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Miasma by Greg Cox

Miasma by Greg Cox
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Enterprise is transporting a group of diplomats when a mysterious alien signal is detected from a planet. Spock, Doctor McCoy and Chekov and some bait...eh I mean red shirts, I mean some other crewmembers* are taking a shuttle down to find out more since it's unclear if the beacon is a distress signal or an invitation or even a warning. But, they crash because of some unforeseen circumstances and they can't send a distress signal back to the Enterprise.

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This is a short Star Trek story that didn't take that long to read. I think the story would perhaps have been more interesting to read if it had been longer, now it felt like reading a script for an episode instead of a novel. It's short and concise, but it doesn't really grab hold of your interest since, despite the fact that Spock is wounded is it more likely that the crewmembers that are traveling with him Doctor McCoy, and Chekov are the once that are likely to be killed.

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And, this story also reminded me of the episode in TOS when Spock and McCoy in the Galileo crashed on another planet. And, they even discussed that crashed in this story. It's interesting that they crashed in a shuttle called the Galileo in that story too. But now Spock has a bit different attitude than he had in the episode. But, then it's been 20 years since that happened.

The story was OK, not that surprising, but still, it's the old gang and I love reading a story with them in it. I like the new movies, but I do prefer the original tv-series and movies.

*The story is taking place some years after Wrath of Khan so now everyone is wearing red. But still the crewmembers are just bait!

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 18 December 2015

The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr

The Diabolical Miss Hyde by Viola Carr
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

There is a murderer loose in London that is slicing of women’s limbs for some insidious purpose. Dr. Eliza Jekyll is a crime scene investigator and she is called out to the first crime scene and there she meets Captain Lafayette from the Royal Society. She must be very careful around him since magic is strictly forbidden and the Captain is hunting anyone that uses magic of any kind. But the need for her to take the elixir is sometimes too strong for her to resist.

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I bought The Diabolical Miss Hyde a couple of months ago, well this spring actually. And, I even started to read it, but then other books came between and then a couple of weeks ago did I finally return to it. And, oh Wow! This is a fantastical great steampunk book.

I liked Eliza Jekyll and Lizzie Hyde very much and I liked that Lizzie and Captain Lafayette relationship which is, even more, interesting because Eliza isn’t feeling the same way about him and since they share the same body is that a bit of a problem. The same body? Yes, Eliza and Lizzie are “the daughter” of Henry Jekyll from the classic book: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And, Eliza is the good daughter and Lizzie is the bad one that is turned loose when Eliza drinks her father’s elixir.

I loved that the book had no vampires or that it felt YA. Instead, it felt gloriously dark and adult to read. Yes, the story could be a bit predictable. It wasn’t that hard to figure out who was the guardian for Eliza Jekyll and Lizzie Hyde and I wasn’t that surprised when the true killer was revealed. But, nevertheless, I enjoyed reading this book immensely.

I was very curious about Eliza’s “relationship” with Razor Jack (Malachi Todd), a serial killer that she caught before everything happened in this book. Eliza and Todd felt a bit like Clarice and Hannibal Lecter. I especially got that vibe when she was in the mental hospital where he is and he is telling her what the killers wants (well telling her very subtle, she had to figure it out herself of course). Does it feel a bit weird to ship Eliza with Jack? Yeah, it does, but I just can’t help it. And then again Eric Northman (Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris) is hardly a saint and I liked him. I hope to read in the future about how Eliza captured him, not just as a flashback in a book. I want the whole story.

The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring

The Ghost Hunters by Neil Spring
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sarah Grey has returned to England after a brief time as a model in Paris. She is looking for a new job, but she never expected to be offered and accepting a job as a personal assistant to Harry Price, the infamous ghost hunter. Harry has devoted himself to expose mediums and false hauntings. And, despite being temperamental and neurotic is he also very charming and Sarah can't help but be drawn to him. One of the most puzzling cases for them will be Borley Rectory. Is the place really haunted or are the rumors about it exaggerated?

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I think the knowledge that Borley Rectory was a real haunted place and Harry Price was a real ghost hunter makes this book extra special. The author has taken some liberations with the story. This is not a true story, but there are some truths in the story. Sarah Grey has never existed, she is based on a secretary that worked for Harry Price a while. But still, it's really fascinating to read this book and I was intrigued by Harry Price and can fully understand why Sarah Grey was too. Even though as I understand it the Harry Price in this book was more charming than the real one.


I didn't know before I read the book that Borley Rectory had existed and that Harry Price was a real person. Or rather I have a vague feeling that I have known and forgotten about it and it hit me when I looked up the place and the man himself on the net during the time I read the book. Strange how the mind can forget things.

The story in itself was good. This was after the First World War, a time when many people were desperate to make contact with the other side, to know that they were all right. And, many people took advantage of this to earn money of other people's grief. Harry Price like Houdini in America, debunked many false mediums. Arthur Conan Doyle has a small part in this book, he was quite crossed with Harry Price because of his negative attitude towards the paranormal. Conan Doyle believed quite strongly in the afterlife.

This is absolutely not a horror book, more a mystery would I say. A paranormal mystery book. Despite dealing with a house that is said to be haunting was the book never scary to read. And, it could feel a bit long sometimes. I can honestly say that if Sarah Grey and Harry Price had not been so interesting to read about had this been dull to read. But they give the book life.


It's a very interesting book. There are not many big twists in this book, but still the story is enjoyable. There are one big secret thing; Sarah Grey's secret that she hides from Harry Price. But, that never felt like a secret. I don't know how it was for others that read the book, but I guessed it right away and then it was just waiting for her to tell him. And, honestly, I thought that she was a bit too cruel to him towards the end when everything was revealed. Although he did treat her appalling sometimes. In the end, one can say that the case of Borley Rectory became something that bound and tore them apart.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The 6th Extinction by James Rollins

The 6th Extinction by James Rollins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a masterful epic of timeless mystery and ripped-from-the-headlines scientific intrigue, New York Times bestselling author James Rollins takes mankind to its endpoint, to a fate written in rock and ice in an event known as The Sixth Extinction.

A remote military research station broadcasts a frantic distress call that ends with a chilling message: Kill us all. When soldiers arrive to investigate, they discover everyone in the lab is dead—not just the scientists, but every living thing for fifty square miles is annihilated: every animal, plant, and insect, even bacteria. The land is completely sterile—and the blight is spreading.

To prevent the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must decipher a threat that rises out of the distant past, a time when Antarctica was green and Earth’s life balanced on a knife edge. Following clues from an ancient map rescued from the lost Library of Alexandria, Sigma will make a shocking discovery involving a prehistoric continent, and a new form of death buried under miles of ice.

From millennia-old secrets out of the frozen past to mysteries buried deep in the darkest jungles of today, Sigma will face its greatest challenge yet: stopping the coming extinction of mankind.

But is it already too late?


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The 6th Extinction is book 10 in the Sigma series and you don't need to have read the previous books in the series to enjoy this book. Although it wouldn't hurt to read them in the right order. Mostly because the series is good and it's interesting to follow the character lives throughout the books.

This book starts with the destruction of a remote military research station that not only kills every single scientist in the facility, but also every living thing within fifty square miles. Animals, plants, and yes even bacteria are killed and the infestation is spreading. Now, they must find a way to stop it!

This book takes us both to the jungles of South America and the icy world of Antarctica as the agents of Sigma has to find a way to stop the spreading that kills everything in its way.

The book is split into two parts; Commander Gray Pierce and others travelers to Antarctica looking for the answers below the ice and Painter Crowe and his group is going after the scientist that created the scourge and who was kidnapped when the military research station was destroyed. I preferred the Antarctic part of the book, it was most interesting with the lost world under the ice and also the one that felt most adventurous.

Meanwhile, Crowe and his team are trying to find the scientist that was kidnapped by the evil man that wanted to destroy the world that we know. The problem for me with the storyline was that It just got to scientific sometimes, too much scientific babble that dragged the story a bit. It was fundamentally interesting the idea that something could be so devastation dangerous that it could kill everything alive, but it just sometimes felt like the scientific babble just went on and on. That could really be why I just preferred what was going on with Pierce and the others because they had to fight for their lives constantly in Antarctica and the world below was so fantastic and dangerous. Yes, there was danger in Brazil, but I just felt less interested in the storyline.

I liked the book, I think it is well-written and fascinating to read. Yes, sometimes the science went above my head, but that only makes me more impressed because it does make the book feel very well researched. Although it did now and then go on a bit too long for my taste. But still, in essence, a really good book.

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat

Blood Rose Angel by Liza Perrat
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Midwife Héloïse has been an outcast since she was a child. She is called a non-born. Her mother died while giving birth to her and her aunt Isa had to cut her out of the womb. The local children teased her about that, and as an adult have the taunting children grown up to taunting adults. But she has always been strong in herself, and she has a wonderful husband and a beautiful daughter. Life couldn't be better. But then her husband arrives home after being away for two years and this should be a young full event, but then people are starting to get sick and die. The Black Death has come to their village.

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There were a couple of times I had to stop reading this book and read something else, not that it was anything wrong with the book. But because I was so frustrated with the superstition that that characterized the people at the time. How the fear made the people accuse, cats, lepers, and Jews for the plague. Héloïse tries to help everyone that is sick, despite her husband being against that. And, he, in the end, tries in his own way to protect her, but that backfires completely. I was so angry with him at that point. It's hard to read a book about a time when women weren't better than a kept slave.

Héloïse is such a wonderful character, strong and kind, but the superstition against her and the bone-sculpted angel pendant she has after her mother is strong among the people in the village. There are some that sees her for the kind person she is, but she has some enemies with power in the town. And, a deadly plague is the kind of thing that could make her situation worse. Especially since she is quite outspoken and brave. A threat, for instance, could easy be interpreted as a curse...

But for all the darkness in this book are there also light moments, and I think the balance between the darkness and the light is the thing that makes this book so wonderful to read. It's an emotional reading experience. Sadness at the death of a child, joy of a birth and anger at the injustice towards women. I was deeply moved by the story.

I received a copy from the publisher and france book tours in return for an honest review!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

London’s Glory by Christopher Fowler

London's Glory by Christopher Fowler
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In every detective’s life there are cases that can’t be discussed, and throughout the Bryant & May novels there have been mentions of some of these such as the Deptford Demon or the Little Italy Whelk Smuggling Scandal.

Now Arthur Bryant has decided to open the files on eleven of these previously unseen investigations that required the collective genius and unique modus operandi of Arthur Bryant and John May and the Peculiar Crimes Unit - investigations that range from different times (London during the Great Smog) and a variety of places: a circus freak show, on board a London Tour Bus and even a yacht off the coast of Turkey.

And in addition to these eleven classic cases, readers are also given a privileged look inside the Peculiar Crimes Unit (literally, with a cut away drawing of their offices), a guide to the characters of the Peculiar Crimes Unit, and access to the contents of Arthur Bryant’s highly individual library.

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I had only read a short Bryant & May story before I read this collection and one of the reasons I wanted to read this collection was because I thought this would give me some insight into the life and work of Bryant and May if I in the future read any of the books. Which I probably will.

This collection consists of eleven previously unseen investigations and it is everything from murder in a locked room, a suspicious case of poisoning on a boat and a killer on a Tourist bus in London. Some cases were more interesting than the others, most of them good. And, even a case or rather two cases connected that they couldn't solve. Bryant&May and the Secret Santa was the story I had read before so I skipped that one.

All and all I found most cases interesting, albeit I found some cases a bit tedious I must admit especially the one about the freak show. I just couldn't get into that one and it felt a bit long.

But I've come to like Bryant & May very much. Especially Bryant. Btw there is an excellent characters list in the beginning of this book. Perfect if you are a new reader, like me, to the series.

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 11 December 2015

A Test Of Wills by Charles Todd

A Test Of Wills by Charles Todd
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ian Rutledge is back at work after five years at the front. But what not many know is that he is suffering from shell shock and he hears voices. Or rather he hears voices of one particular man that he knew from the war. A man that never got home alive and he feels guilty about it. But he still tries to do a good job, despite the fact that he suffering from shell shock. 

In this, the first book is he sent to deal with the murder of well-liked Colonel Charles Harris who was shot while he was out riding in the morning. He was seen by the house staff arguing with Mark Wilton, the main suspect on the day before. Mark Wilton is also the Colonels wards fiance and Charles and Mark are good friends. There is no evidence that Mark is the killer and the only man that says that he saw the two men together arguing on the day the Colonel died is a man suffering from shell shock. That disturbs Ian Rutledge who starts to suspect that someone at Scotland Yard knows about is affliction and that he was given this case so that he would fail.


**********

I have read a couple of Charles Todd's Bess Crawford books and I thought it was time to check out the mother and son duos other historical series; the Ian Rutledge series. The Bess Crawford books take place during WW1, but the Ian Rutledge series takes place just after the end of WW1. And, while Bess Crawford is a nurse at the front is Ian Rutledge a policeman at the Scotland Yard.

This is the kind of book that takes awhile to get into. You don't know that much about Ian Rutledge, but clues about him, about his time in the war and what happened to him, is revealed throughout the book. In the end, I came to like him very much, he is a man that been through hell, that is trying to get back to the life he had before the war, but it's hard. Jean, the woman he loves, broke up with him after he got home. He was not the man she had known before the war and neither was she the girl he knew before the war. And, to make things worse, is he hearing the voice of Hamish, an executed soldier, in his head.

The case was interesting, albeit the start of the book was a bit slow as much of the time, in the beginning, is spent on getting to know all the involved characters, their relationship with the murdered man. It was in no way boring, but it felt like it took some time to get somewhere with the case. But it's well worth it since it made you really get to know the characters, they feel well developed. Rutledge had to during the days he was on the case painstakingly try to find out the answers from people that not always was that forthcoming with the truth. And, I really liked the last part of the book when it all started to make sense and the truth about the murder was revealed. I was surprised about how it all turned out and never suspected that kind of ending. (view spoiler)

I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books in the series. I like Rutledge, and I hope he will get better and that he someday will find peace. Also, I really hope that he will meet Bess Crawford some day.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Dig Two Graves by Kim Powers

Dig Two Graves by Kim Powers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In his twenties, Ethan Holt won the decathlon at the Olympics and was jokingly nicknamed "Hercules"; now, in his late thirties, he's returned to his ivy-covered alma mater to teach, and to raise his young daughter Skip as a single father. After a hushed-up scandal over his Olympics win and the death of his wife in a car accident five years ago, Ethan wants nothing more than to forget his past. Skip is not only the light of Ethan's life--she is his life. Then, Skip is kidnapped. A series of bizarre ransom demands start coming in that stretch Ethan's athletic prowess to its limits, and he realizes with growing horror that they are modern versions of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, demanded in tricky, rhyming clues by someone who seems to have followed every step of Ethan's career.

**********

DIG TWO GRAVES is a well-written and intensive thriller about obsession. Ethan and Skip live an ordinary life in a small town and since there are just the two of them are they very close. But the birthday party that Skip had planned didn't turn out as she wanted it to. She was hurt that her father didn't seem to appreciate the movie about his life that she has made and that Ethan had invited Wendy his girlfriend to the party. But, Ethan notices they day after when he comes home after working that Skip has planned to cook dinner for him, but she has never got to it, she is gone...

I think Kim Powers has done tremendous work of writing a thriller that shows just how far a father would go to find his daughter. His love for Skip shines through the book and every obstacle he takes on pushes him closer to finding her and also learning the truth about the kidnapper. In the middle of the all we also have a young man that is looking for the truth from Ethan, is he involved with the kidnapping? I had my suspicious towards the end on whom the kidnapper would be, but that never ruined the reading. And, the ending was heartbreaking.

DIG TWO GRAVES is a great book and a perfect book for anyone that is looking for a good thriller.

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson

In the Dark Places by Peter Robinson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It's a double mystery: two young men have vanished, and the investigation leads to two troubling clues in two different locations.

As Inspector Banks and his team scramble for answers, the inquiry takes an even darker turn when a truck careens off an icy road in a freak hailstorm. In the wreckage, rescuers find the driver, who was killed on impact, as well as another corpse . . . that of someone who was dead well before the crash.

Snow falls. The body count rises. And Banks, perceptive and curious as ever, feels himself being drawn deeper into a web of crime . . . and at its center something—or someone—dark and dangerous lying in wait.

*********

This is my very first DCI Banks book and I have to admit that I'm surprised that it wasn't better. I was curious about this book series and I usually have no problems reading the latest book in the series, but in this case, I just couldn't get into the story or nor did I find the characters very interesting.

The book started off OK, but the last half of the book felt extremely tedious. The cops tried to find answers theft and where the two missing men are. And, it just dragged on and dragged on. Not even when a butchered body was found did the story get interesting. DCI Banks was away in the beginning of the book, with his girlfriend in Italy. And, frankly, he wasn't that memorable when he showed up. He could have been away from the whole book and I wouldn't have missed him.

I'm really surprised that this book didn't appeal to me. I usually like crime novels. It's the one genre that I rarely am disappointed with. But this one, I was bored. The story was bored the characters were boring. Not evening the ending was very interesting.

The first 40% of the book was the best. I lost interest after that. I mean I had 6% left of the book and it was not exciting to read instead I had to force myself to finish the book.

A kind 2-star rating. It started off OK and I would like to read another book in the series since I haven't ruled out the series completely yet.

I want to thank the publisher and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now, it might take them to their graves.

Nearly two decades after her childhood—and her friendship with Daphne—were destroyed in one traumatic night, a dying man’s last words convey a warning to Madeline: the secrets she believed buried forever have been discovered.

Unable to trust anyone else, Madeline reaches out to Daphne and to the only man she can count on to help: Jack Rayner, a security expert with a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. Along with his high-tech genius of a brother, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth....

**********

I was quite looking forward to reading this book as I enjoy reading the historical novels Jayne Ann Krentz writes under the name of Amanda Quick.

I found the beginning of the book promising, with a dark secret that is kept by a little group of people and how someone out there is apparently out to know the truth. What is the secret and who is after Madeline and Daphne?

And, at first, the book was good, easy to get into and a bit intriguing. Unfortunately, the book didn't turn out the way I thought it would. For one thing, everything points to one suspect in the book, and that made me quite sure that all this is a big red herring and that made me look for someone else that could be the big bad wolf instead. Secondly, the couple thing, two men and two women. That bored me. It was so predictable and utterly uninteresting to read about. Perhaps it would have worked better if the characters had been a bit more interesting, but they were flat and their romance just made the reading less engaging.

The story was just not imaginative or suspenseful. It was predictable and it felt like something I read several times before. I was hoping for a story that would enthrall me, but it simply never really did that and the last 50 pages were a real struggle to get through. This book was just not for me.

Thank you Piatkus for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate

The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jen Gibbs has recently got a job at Vida House Publishing and everyone knows that the slush-pile in the conference room is strictly forbidden to touch. So Jen is quite surprised when she finds a manuscript on her desk from it one morning. She has no idea who put it there and, at first, all she can think of is putting it back. That is until she starts to read it and get engrossed in the story about Sarra, a young woman in the Appalachia at the turn of the twentieth century, and Rand a young man that tries to save her from some brutal men. Now she just has to find the rest of the manuscript, but that means traveling to the Blue Ridge Mountains to chase a reclusive author. And, that also means that she is going home for the first time in ten years...


**********

The story keeper is book two in the Carolina series and as I already have read book three gave this book some insights to events and mentions in The Sea keeper's Daughters. Part of me wish that I had read the books in order because that would have made me appreciate part of The Sea keeper's Daughters much more, but I can always reread The Sea keeper's Daughters sometime in the future.

Do you need to read the books in order? No, but there are some threads that go through the books that make the reading experience perhaps more enjoyable if you read the books in order. But, I started with book 3, The Sea keeper's Daughters, and despite the fact that I hadn't read the previous books in the series did I enjoy that books very much. Actually, I came to love the book very much.

This book is good but in my opinion not quite as good as the previous book The Prayer Box or the book that comes after; The Sea keeper's Daughters. For instance, I had a much harder time really warming up the past story that is told in this book parallel to the present story. I for some reason just couldn't bond with Sarra and Rand. I much preferred to read about the present story with Jen trying to meet the author and at the same time confronting her own past when she goes home to meet her sisters and father. There were times I had to put the book down because I got so frustrated with her over religious family where the man's rule is the law. If there is something that makes me angry is men using religion to subdue women.

But despite that, I didn't find the past story as enchanting as Jen did has Lisa Wingate manages once again to write a truly wonderful book and the ending almost made me cry.

Friday, 4 December 2015

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston

The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A year after her husband’s sudden death, ceramic artist Tilda Fordwells finally moves into the secluded Welsh cottage that was to be their new home. She hopes that the tranquil surroundings will help ease her grief, and lessen her disturbing visions of Mat’s death. Instead, the lake in the valley below her cottage seems to spark something dormant in her – a sensitivity, and a power of some sort. Animals are drawn to her, electricity shorts out when she’s near, and strangest of all, she sees a new vision; a boatful of ancient people approaching her across the water.

On this same lake in Celtic times lived Seren, a witch and shaman. She was respected but feared, kept separate from the community for her strange looks. When a vision came to her of the Prince amid a nest of vipers she warned of betrayal from one of his own. Prince Brynach both loved and revered her, but could not believe someone close to him wished him harm, even as the danger grew.

In her own time, Tilda’s grief begins to fade beside her newfound powers and a fresh love. When she explores the lake’s ancient magic and her own she discovers Seren, the woman in her vision of the boat. Their two lives strangely mirror each others, suggesting a strong connection between the women. As Tilda comes under threat from a dark power, one reminiscent of Seren’s prophecy, she must rely on Seren and ancient magic if death and disaster are not to shatter her life once more.



**********

I read The Midnight Witch last year, but I couldn't really take to it. The story didn't work for me, but this book; the parallel storyline with Tilda in the present time and Seren in the past work well for me. I liked how the two stories were linked to each other and I enjoyed both stories and how the events in the past influenced in the future. I was I admit a bit enjoyed sometimes with Seren and Prince Brynach. Mostly how blind he was about the danger they were in despite how Seren warned him. She's a god damn seeress, but he seemed to listen tp her only when he wanted to. And frankly, I could understand Brynach wife for being angry with Seren.

In the present time, Tilda is trying to figure out why she is having "power" and what the visions mean and I found it intriguing to learn more of the past from her point of view at the same time reading about it as Seren is living it.

I liked the book, but I didn't love it. It was enjoyable to read, but it wasn't really a book that had an impact on me. I liked Tilda's story best I think, I found it more interesting and I was never annoyed with her as I was with Seren and Prince Brynach. Tilda and Dylan's relationship worked for me in that it didn't felt rushed. And, reading the ending made me wonder if them meeting perhaps was meant to be...

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge

Eeny Meeny by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Two people are abducted, imprisoned, and left with a gun. As hunger and thirst set in, only one walks away alive.

It’s a game more twisted than any Detective Helen Grace has ever seen. If she hadn’t spoken with the shattered survivors herself, she almost wouldn’t believe them.

Helen is familiar with the dark sides of human nature, including her own, but this case—with its seemingly random victims—has her baffled. But as more people go missing, nothing will be more terrifying than when it all starts making sense...
.


**********

I usually find no problems with reading books out of order nowadays. But, in this case, I kind of regret that I read Pop Goes the Weasel before I read Eeny Meeny. Why? Because a bit of the enjoyment of reading this book is gone because I knew who the person is who is behind the kidnappings. Don't get me wrong, the book was great, but I knew what would happen at the end of the book and that's just a takes away some of the thrills of the ending when everything is revealed. Despite that, I enjoyed reading about the hunt for the kidnapper.

I'm glad I read this because now I understand Helen and Charlies strained relationship in the sequel. I also look forward to reading more books in this series since it has become a favorite of mine.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Ruby Flynn by Nadine Dorries

Ruby Flynn by Nadine Dorries
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The year is 1947 and 12-year-old Ruby Flynn is rescued while the rest of her family perish in a terrible storm. As an orphan is she placed in a convent where she is educated and six years later is she hired to work in at Ballyford as a nursery maid. But there are no children to work with, Charles FitzDeane the master of the house and his wife Isobel have had five children and they all have died as infants and Ruby have been hired to take care of Isobel whose grief has made her melancholic and she hardly eats, just sits in the nursery. But there is another reason for why they want Ruby there, something to do with her mother, but Ruby doesn't know anything about that, all she knows is that it feels like coming home when she arrives at Ballyford...

**********

I was instantly taken in by the lovely cover of the book and the interesting blurb. Ruby Flynn is a strong character, she has survived losing her family and growing up in a convent and now she is finding herself taking care of women that have almost lost the will to live. I found the beginning of the book engaging, with all the secrets and the mystery of Ruby and the legendary curse on the FitzDeane family.

But, somewhere along the way, I felt that the story becomes a bit predictable and I felt that the mystery about Ruby Flynn just wasn't that special. I enjoyed the book, but there were parts of the book when I felt a bit frustrated with and I just wanted to get to the truth. Also, when Ruby out of all people finds a clue to her mother past that's been hidden, things like that is a bit irritating. She of all people happens to find that. And, the instant connection to Charles FitzDeane. I don't know I just felt that it bothered me a bit. That could be because I felt sorry for Isobel who had lost 5 children and her husband travelers away and sleeps with other women instead of staying home and comforts her. His excuse that they never loved each other when they got married. No? That's still you grieving wife you bastard.

I don't know I just couldn't find myself really liking the last part of the book. It felt a bit rushed and the ending felt like a fairytale happy ending. Forget everything bad. This was meant to be.

I did find the curse thing interesting and I did like Ruby Flynn, I just didn't like the whole story.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley in an exchange for an honest review!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria

Joy: Poet, Seeker, and the Woman Who Captivated C. S. Lewis by Abigail Santamaria
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The first full biography of Joy Davidman brings her out from C. S. Lewis's shadow, where she has long been hidden, to reveal a powerful writer and thinker.

Joy Davidman is known, if she is known at all, as the wife of C. S. Lewis. Their marriage was immortalized in the film Shadowlands and Lewis's memoir, A Grief Observed. Now, through extraordinary new documents as well as years of research and interviews, Abigail Santamaria brings Joy Davidman Gresham Lewis to the page in the fullness and depth she deserves.

A poet and radical, Davidman was a frequent contributor to the communist vehicle New Masses and an active member of New York literary circles in the 1930s and 40s. Born Jewish in the Bronx, she was an atheist, then a practitioner of Dianetics; she converted to Christianity after experiencing a moment of transcendent grace. A mother, a novelist, a vibrant and difficult and intelligent woman, she set off for England in 1952, determined to captivate the man whose work had changed her life.

Davidman became the intellectual and spiritual partner Lewis never expected but cherished. She helped him refine his autobiography, Surprised by Joy, and to write his novel Till We Have Faces. Their relationship-begun when Joy wrote to Lewis as a religious guide-grew from a dialogue about faith, writing, and poetry into a deep friendship and a timeless love story.

**********

There are some reviews that are easy to write, that almost writes itself. I can finish a book sit down and write without problems. Then there are books, like this one that I kind of know what to write, but still, the process from my head to actually writing it down takes a bit longer time. And, I'm sorry it's a bit lengthy.

I first learned of Joy Davidman when I for quite many years ago watched Shadowlands. Before that, I had no idea that C.S. Lewis had been married. It was a wonderful film, but still, it's a film, even though there are truths in the story it has been changed to suit the public. For instance, Joy had two children, two boys and in the movie, she had one. But that they started out as pen pals, that she traveled over to England to see him, that they, in the end, married each other and that she died of cancer is true just as it is in the movie. But the books makes everything sounds so perfect.

But this book gives a much deeper insight into the woman Joy, to her childhood, her growing up, her writing, her time with the communist party and her conversion to Christianity which led her to C.S. Lewis writings and writing together with her husband a letter to C.S. Lewis. She would, in the end, continue to write to C.S. Lewis, but without Bill.

It sounds like a wonderful love story, but in reality, it was a bit more calculated than that. Joy marriage was falling apart, and she practically arranged for her husband to fall in love with her beautiful cousin that came to stay with them. How so? By then she was writing to C.S. Lewis and she was eager to travel and meet him and she left her husband, children, and cousin together and traveled to England to meet C.S. Lewis. She had fallen in love with him through his letters and she was actually going there to make him fall in love with her. It didn’t go as plan, she did meet him, she spent months in England, but it would take some years before they would truly be a couple. During the time, she and her husband divorced because he had fallen in love with her cousin and she bad mouths him quite bad in letter and to friends. Although, she was hardly a saint herself. she left her sons for months while she was in England and she wrote home to ask for money she then spends on buying clothes and stuff for herself.

But was their love story untrue? No she did love Jack (C.S. Lewis) and he loved her and they got some wonderful years together.

It was not an easy book to read, the first half of the book was a bit tough, it’s very well researched (40% of the book was footnoted), but it was sometimes  a bit dry and I must admit that her poems that were in the book, well they didn’t really fascinate me. I often just glanced over them. They just didn't appeal to me. But it was interesting to read about the time period, the rise of the communist party before the McCarty era. I had no idea that Joy was fascinated for a while in life with Dianetics a practice that a man called L. Ron Hubbard had thought of. She got over it, thankfully. She lived in a very interesting time and her life story is quite remarkable.

I think the best part of the book was the last half when she started to write to Jack, and when she got to met and later marry him. Many of his friends were worried for him, like Tolkien. They thought that she was taking advantage of him. Jack had in his youth promised Paddy Moore, a friend, that he would look after his mother if something happened to him and when the friend died in WW1 did he honor the promise and looked after her and many thought that stopped him from ever finding a woman to marry because she looked after him as a mother (he lost his mother as a child) and he looked after her as a son. And around the time Joy came to meet him Mrs. Janie King Moore had died and that made his friends concerned for him since they wanted him to be free.

But I think she did him good. She made him happy.

I recommend this book if you want to know more about Joy or Jack or if you are just looking for an interesting biography to read.

Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid

Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Splinter the Silence is a novel centered on the mysterious deaths of several women who were the victims of vicious cyberbullying.

Is it violence if it’s virtual? The outspoken women targeted by the increasingly cruel internet trolls and bullies would probably say so. For some of them, the torrents of bile and vicious threats prove too much. They begin to silence themselves in a series of high-profile suicides.

Or do they? Tony Hill isn’t convinced. But he’s the only one. Former cop Carol Jordan is too busy messing up her life to care. Until she gets an unexpected second chance. Now it’s game on, and the stakes have never been higher.


**********

It seems that finally Tony and Carol is back as friends after everything that happened with her brother's murder. I quite enjoy having them back to speaking with each other again and it seems that Tony is finally getting to Carol that she has a drinking problem. Of course, it had to go so far for Carol that she has to be arrested for drunk driving before Tony frankly told her that she had to quit. But by then the arrest had already damaged her reputation, which was really bad because the powers that be in the police want her back, but not with a driving drunk sentence. But everything can be fixed. Besides, that is Tony discovering that there is something wrong with the suicides of a couple of women and soon he, Carol and Paula are investigating the suicides.

I found this book story especially good because it finally brought the old team together. I have missed reading about them working together under Carol. The case in itself took some time to get somewhere. And it felt like most of the time the book concentrated on other things than finding a killer. Carol and her drunk driving and the consequences of that took up a lot of the book and I did enjoy reading about Tony finally confronting Carol about her drinking problem and moving into the barn to help her the first couple of days and of course, getting rid of all the alcohol at her her place which didn't make her happy. I do wish that case had taken a bit more priorities it was first towards the very end that books story really started to get intensive. Not that the book was bad, I just got a bit impatient with all the personal stuff. I did enjoy that part when the new team was finally started to put all the pieces together and the manhunt started.

The ending was fitting, I don't want to give it away, but there had to be some consequences to Carols drunk driving and what happened after that. It will be interesting to read the next book to see how it will be dealt with.

Thanks to Witness Impulse and Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi

Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction by Hannu Rajaniemi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

'Inside the firewall the city is alive. Buildings breathe, cars attack, angels patrol, and hyper-intelligent pets rebel.

With unbridled invention and breakneck adventure, Hannu Rajaniemi is on the cutting-edge of science fiction. His post-apocalyptic, post-cyberpunk, and post-human tales are full of exhilarating energy and unpredictable optimism.


How will human nature react when the only limit to desire is creativity? When the distinction between humans and gods is as small as nanomachines—or as large as the universe? Whether the next big step in technology is 3D printing, genetic alteration, or unlimited space travel, Rajaniemi writes about what happens after.

**********

I had never read anything by Hannu Rajaniemi before I read this collection and I was a bit doubtful in the beginning because the two first stories didn't really rock my boat. Actually, I found myself a bit confused. It felt a bit like I had missed something and I had a bit of trouble understanding what was going on. But by the third story, it started to get better.

I will not list all the stories in this collection instead I thought I would mention some of them that were really memorable.

The Haunting of Apollo A7LB -  A tragic love story that includes a haunted space suite.

Elegy for a Young Elk - Kind of hard to explain this story, but I loved the ending. It showed that despite everything a father would do anything for his child despite that the child has evolved into something new.

Fisher of Man - One of my favorite story in this book. Nothing to do with AI or technology, but instead, it's a story about the daughter of the Sea that catches men in her net. I was intrigued with the story and with the Finnish mythology, a subject that I'm not at all are familiar with.

Ghost dogs - What happen with dogs that die? If they don't go to heaven, are they still in the house? A very good story and the one with the saddest ending.

Paris, in Love  - A very unusual love story between a Finnish man and Paris.

Topsight - The death of a friend is the topic here and was it really an accident or was it murder? I wish this story had been longer, it was such an interesting story.

The Oldest Game - A man against a god in a drinking contest. More Finnish mythology. I really need to read more about the old Finnish Gods.

Shibuya no Love - Another interesting take on love. Heartbreaking ending.

Satan's Typist - A very short story, but honestly it didn't need more to tell its story. Being a typist is really not a fun job when your boss is Satan himself.

In the end, I just want to say that despite the fact that I was a bit doubtful in the beginning of this book did it turn out to be a really good collection. There were some stories I didn't that much and some were a bit confusing, but most of the stories were good. I really loved the mix of stories about technology and Finnish mythology. It gave a good balance to the collection.

Thanks to Tachyon Publications and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Sunday, 29 November 2015

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan

The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance against the extremes of Mother Nature.

**********

I read Shadows Have Gone, book three in this series at the beginning of this year and I found the book very good. But it has taken me ages to get to reading the first book in this series. But now as I'm going through my NetGalley books have I finally gotten to this one.

What I like about this series is that there are no zombies or any other kind of monsters, if it is a "monster" is it people that still have the flue or ordinary people that have turned ruthless to survive. Carly and Justin have a rocky start, but they she slowly learns to trust him and realize that he is right, that they must leave Juneau if they are going to survive. I found that part and then ending the best in the book, Unfortunately, I started to get a bit annoyed somewhere along the way. Annoyed that Carly was so incompetent and Justin was so well trained in surviving. Could be the scout in me that just found her unbearable ignorant sometimes. Either way, it seems that she has lived a very sheltered life and hardly set foot outside a town. One moment that really made me annoyed was when Justin ripped a wedding dress to pieces to use as a bandage for future needs and she got upset because he was ripping apart someone's dream. I mean, come on, they are on the way to Florida, she doesn't know the women whose dress it is and they are trying to survive.

And, then we have the romance part. I can understand the need for human contact, for warmth and for the basic need like sex. But suddenly it's a love story. It's a Hallmark movie. After that part, the story just felt meh! Fortunately, the ending was tragically good. yeah. Except for one thing that I didn't like, someone that I liked very much died.

Thanks to The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Friday, 27 November 2015

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy

House of Echoes by Brendan Duffy
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

In this enthralling and atmospheric thriller, one young family’s dream of a better life is about to become a nightmare.

Ben and Caroline Tierney and their two young boys are hoping to start over. Ben has hit a dead end with his new novel, Caroline has lost her banking job, and eight-year-old Charlie is being bullied at his Manhattan school.

When Ben inherits land in the village of Swannhaven, in a remote corner of upstate New York, the Tierneys believe it’s just the break they need, and they leave behind all they know to restore a sprawling estate. But as Ben uncovers Swannhaven’s chilling secrets and Charlie ventures deeper into the surrounding forest, strange things begin to happen. The Tierneys realize that their new home isn’t the fresh start they needed . . . and that the village’s haunting saga is far from over.

House of Echoes is a novel that shows how sometimes the ties that bind us are the only things that can keep us whole.


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House of Echoes is not a book for those that can't stand a story that takes its time to get to the action. Sometimes slow buildup works and sometimes it doesn't and I think the slow buildup worked quite well, for the most part, even though even I felt sometimes that I wanted to get to the point.

But what I really liked about this book is despite how normal everything seems and how lovely the Crofts and the close town Swannhaven seem to be, you just know that something is wrong. You just don't know what it is, but there seems to be some big secret the people in the village have. You get some clues in the letters that are alternating the chapters from the 1800 century during the terrible Winter siege when Swannhaven was attacked by Indians and the people starved.

I was quickly pulled into the story, I have a weakness for books with families moving to an old house with a history and the Crofts sure has been true a lot since it was built in 1800 century. The two sisters that were the last Swann's died two years prior and Ben and Caroline are the first to live in the house that is not part of the family. And at first everything is just fine, but slowly, slowly things start to happen until the very end when everything is revealed. The ending is really no big surprise, I mean there are clues throughout the book that there is something very wrong. I admit that it felt sometimes like it took some time to get somewhere despite how well-written the book was. I did enjoy the story, but I felt sometimes a bit impatient and it never got truly thrilling though it got a bit intense towards the end. I think I actually was most worried about the dog Hudson throughout the book. Animals in books like this have a tendency to perish.

I'm impressed with this debut book by Brendan Duffy and will without a doubt read more from him.

Thanks to Random House and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!